NANFA-- DSAC Trip Report

Christopher Scharpf (
Tue, 23 Jan 2001 22:38:23 -0400

forwarded from Peter Unmack:

G'day folks

On October 6-8, 2000 the Desert Springs Action Committee volunteers once
again ventured into the vast open spaces of Nevada to torment exotic fishes
and cattails in another fun filled weekend. Around 23 volunteers came from
the Bay Area/Sacramento, Las Angeles region, and Phoenix. For the second
year in a row the weather was absolutely perfect which was an added bonus!
The work in Ash Meadows usually consists of several smaller groups setting
floating traps in the various springs to capture exotic fishes, while
another group usually assists Fish and Wildlife Service biologist David St.
George undertake a population estimate on pupfish in one or more springs.
Traps are usually left out for 3-4 hours at a time, hence leaving lots of
time for seeing the wonderful sights in Ash Meadows. This years work
removed the following numbers of exotics: damnbusia, 3892; molly, 207;
crayfish, 600; and bullfrog tadpoles, 315, making the total number 5014!
Cattails have now been removed for several years from some springs, usually
by the time we return some have resprouted or regrown (one doesn't always
get the root mass when pulling them out). Overall, the regrowth is not that
significant, a few plants were removed from Rogers and Longstreet springs.
Fairbanks Spring formerly had a very dense growth of cattails and it tends
to need the most work each year; it was cleaned out once again. The
population count for pupfish was undertaken in Fairbanks Spring and was
estimated to be 2348. Overall numbers of native fishes have been
significantly higher since 1997 in some springs, especially the northern
ones. In some cases the increases have been up to 4 times the population
levels of the period 1993 through 1996. This increase can be attributed to
cattail and exotic species removal.

After Ash Meadows, a few of the troups headed north, then east across Nevada
via Railroad Valley where several habitats were visiting briefly. It was
pleasing to see good numbers of springfish back in Hay Corral Spring as they
were absent in 1999. Our final destination was Nicholas Spring in Preston
where we continued our guppy eradication experiments. Guppy numbers have
remained low this past year relative to the year before. Only 780 guppies
were caught over about 2 hours of seining and dip netting. We are yet to
see any significant change in springfish numbers, but this may be a slow
process so we'll stick at it a bit longer.

Check out our website at for more information on
the organisation.

Best fishes
Peter Unmack

See you in the desert!

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